Lightroom Introduction, Library & Develop Modules

1 Jul
 

Originally penned January 2009 under a different title and updated July 1, 2015

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There are a lot of subtleties in tweaking your photographs. Of course, the more you can get right in the camera, the better your image will ultimately be. It goes back to the trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. But with Camera Raw, Lightroom, and other tools, you can bring out the best in your photographs. Remember, what comes out of your camera does not usually totally reflect what you saw when you were attracted to the scene. Think of it as your negative from film days.

The Basics

Let’s start with a few basics. Lightroom is actually a very easy tool to use, and for those who do not want to go the extra route of layers and other more sophisticated imaging, it may see you through. Remember that Photoshop was created for graphic designers, while Lightroom was created by photographers for photographers. What a concept and what a BIG difference!

I am not going to do a complete how-to, as that can be found in tutorials, books, (see our Resources page) and our workshops. In installments, however, I’ll try to address common areas of confusion as well as give you some hints that I use in processing my own images. Even far more sophisticated users than I have found some of my hints quite useful. Just use this as a guide and develop what works for you. If you try something, make virtual copies (we’ll address this in a future blog) and see how they compare.

Triangles that Control Panels

First, however, I’d like to start with one important basic, and that is the little triangles that control the various panels. These are found at the center of each edge of your Lightroom window. If they are inward-facing and dotted (see below), hover over them, and you will see the panels appear; mouse away from them, and the panels will disappear again. Click on them, and and the triangle will turn solid and face outwards, while the panels will stay visible. This is the before and after way the triangle looks:
© 2015 Margo Taussig Pinkerton.  All Rights Reserved.  From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures.  For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC  27278 or at 1-919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. east-coast time, GMT-5.

Dotted = temporary

© 2015 Margo Taussig Pinkerton.  All Rights Reserved.  From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures.  For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC  27278 or at 1-919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. east-coast time, GMT-5.

solid=permanent and my default most of the time

Click on them again, and they will go back to hover mode. Try it, and you’ll see what I mean. When people lose their panels, it is usually because they have clicked on the triangle by mistake, not knowing what that does.

Top Panel

I prefer to keep the top panel open, as it will show you the status bar of a task such as saving, importing, exporting, creating a contact sheet, etc.
© 2015 Margo Taussig Pinkerton.  All Rights Reserved.  From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures.  For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC  27278 or at 1-919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. east-coast time, GMT-5.

Bottom Panel

The bottom panel, the part with thumbnails and a black informational band above, is a matter of preference. I have seen lots of people on either side of this “door.” Some prefer to leave it visible, whilst others mouse over it when needed. (Remember the dotted/solid triangles above?)
© 2015 Margo Taussig Pinkerton.  All Rights Reserved.  From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures.  For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC  27278 or at 1-919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. east-coast time, GMT-5.

Toolbar

The easy shortcut for this in any module is pressing the letter “t”. A gray band will appear at the bottom the “light table” and sometimes at the top, as well, if appropriate. You will see it in Library Module / Grid view, but not in Loupe view, because you can’t filter with only one image selected.
© 2015 Margo Taussig Pinkerton.  All Rights Reserved.  From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures.  For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC  27278 or at 1-919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. east-coast time, GMT-5.

What is useful, I find, is to check off some of the items that appear when you click on the triangle in the gray band just below your light table and next to the Continue reading 

Paris, Day 04

21 Jun
 

Fourth Day of Paris Workshop

People do their imaging and have breakfast, in no particular order, but we do meet mid-morning for critiques. Arnie and I love some of the images they have made. Stunning! Critiques are thoughtful and encouraging. Participants are pleased, as are we.

We want to do some gallery hopping to show what sort of work is out there, but it is half-past lunch o’clock, so we find a nice, sidewalk cafe and settle in. I order some mozzarella that has been grilled and laid on a bed of greens and cherry tomatoes. To die for!
© 2015 Margo Taussig Pinkerton.  All Rights Reserved.  From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures.  For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC  27278 or at 1-919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. east-coast time, GMT-5.

We find ourselves near Taschen, that famous German publisher of photography and other art books. It is good for our group to go in and peruse the selections. There used to be galleries as part of Taschen’s store in Paris, but alas, they are gone in favor of more book space. The huge volume of Salgado’s Genesis is there, and it is as magnificent as ever.

Dessert time, as we know a little chocolate place not far away. The choices are endless, and we wander along the displays drooling over this and that flavor and make our selections. Arnie and I choose a bar with candied orange zest. Amazing!

We are in an area with narrow little cobbled lanes. Every year we are here with one of our “spousal units,” I do a photograph of her. This is this year’s which, as her husband agrees, captures her spirit. I will make sure they get a copy.© 2015 Margo Taussig Pinkerton.  All Rights Reserved.  From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures.  For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC  27278 or at 1-919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. east-coast time, GMT-5.

It is a good area for photography, so we take our time. We want to get to the galleries, however, before they close, so we move on, photographing, of course, along the way.

Some of the exhibits we see are quite impressive with strong, enduring images. Others scare us away. To our eye, over-processed or, as one of our participants says, “They hurt my eyes!”

We all agree.

There are also home decor and furniture galleries, sparsely but elegantly presented. The sense of Continue reading 

Paris, Day 03

20 Jun
 

Third Day of Paris Workshop

Breakfast is essential. Arnie usually gets the French breakfast with two croissants and a baguette with jam, AND the obligatory coffee. I go for the American breakfast with an omelette, light and fluffy as only the French can do, and a café au lait. Orange juice on both counts.

Critiques follow and the images shown are really great. Everyone is pleased.

Given all yesterday’s extensive walking we opt for a Batobus day. We can get on and off the boat as whim dictates, and it gives everyone a different vantage point. We head downhill to a market, and on the way, we see the light making the cobble stones glow. I love the circular utility covers that dot the streets.
© 2015 Margo Taussig Pinkerton.  All Rights Reserved.  From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures.  For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC  27278 or at 1-919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. east-coast time, GMT-5.

Down the street a few blocks, colorful tile tables with wine themes sit in the sun, finished coffee cups left behind.
© 2015 Margo Taussig Pinkerton.  All Rights Reserved.  From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures.  For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC  27278 or at 1-919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. east-coast time, GMT-5.

The market we are heading for, alas, is not the one that is open today. I pop into a shop for some photographs, with permission, of course, and the lady tells me that Continue reading